William Cartwright

A Song of Dalliance

Heark, my Flora! Love doth call us
To that strife that must befal us.
He has rob'd his mother's Myrtles
And hath pull'd her downy Turtles.
See, our genial hosts are crown'd,
And our beds like billows rise;
Softer combats nowhere found,
And who loses, wins the prize.

Let not dark nor shadows fright thee;
Thy limbs of lustre they will light thee.
Fear not any can surprise us,
Love himself doth now disguise us.
From thy waste thy girdle throw:
Night and darkness both dwell here:
Words or actions who can know,
Where there's neither eye nor ear?

Shew thy bosom and then hide it;
License touching, and then chide it;
Give a grant and then forbear it;
Offer something, and forswear it;
Ask where all our shame is gone;
Call us wicked wanton men;
Do as turtles, kiss and groan;
Say "We ne'er shall meet again."

I can hear thee curse, yet chase thee;
Drink thy tears, yet still embrace thee;
Easie riches is no treasure;
She that's willing spoils the pleasure.
Love bids learn the wrestlers' fight;
Pull and struggle whilst ye twine;
Let me use my force tonight,
The next conquest shall be thine.

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